Generic Name: crizotinib (kriz-OH-ti-nib)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on March 10, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor
Uses for crizotinib
Crizotinib is used to treat metastatic (cancer that has already spread) non-small cell lung cancer that is caused by a defect in either a gene called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) or a gene called ROS1. Your doctor will test for the presence of this gene. Crizotinib is an antineoplastic (cancer) agent. It interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed by the body.
Crizotinib is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using crizotinib
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For crizotinib, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to crizotinib or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of crizotinib in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of crizotinib in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking crizotinib, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using crizotinib with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using crizotinib with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Aripiprazole Lauroxil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Doxorubicin Hydrochloride Liposome
- Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
- Sodium Phosphate
- Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
- Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
- St John's Wort
Using crizotinib with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using crizotinib with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use crizotinib, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
- Grapefruit Juice
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of crizotinib. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Bradycardia (slow heartbeat) or
- Congenital long QT syndrome (heart rhythm problem) or
- Congestive heart failure or
- Electrolyte or mineral imbalance or
- QT prolongation (abnormal heart rhythm)—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper use of crizotinib
Take crizotinib exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
Crizotinib comes with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Swallow the capsule whole. Do not crush, break, chew, or open it. You may take crizotinib with or without food.
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using crizotinib. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may change the amount of medicine that is absorbed in the body.
The dose of crizotinib will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of crizotinib. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (capsules):
- For treatment of non-small cell lung cancer:
- Adults—250 milligrams (mg) 2 times a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For treatment of non-small cell lung cancer:
If you miss a dose of crizotinib, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
If you miss a dose and it is less than 6 hours until your next regular dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose.
If you vomit after taking a dose, do not take an extra dose. Take the next dose at the regular time.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions while using crizotinib
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure crizotinib is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using crizotinib while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. It may also cause birth defects if the father is using it when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. Female patients should use effective birth control during treatment with crizotinib and for at least 45 days after the last dose. Male patients who have female partners should use effective birth control during treatment with crizotinib and for at least 90 days after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while using crizotinib, tell your doctor right away.
Crizotinib may cause swelling of the lungs (pneumonitis), which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Check with your doctor right away if you have a cough with or without mucous, troubled breathing, or a fever.
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Contact your doctor right away if you have any changes to your heart rhythm. You might feel dizzy or faint, or you might have a slow, fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat. Make sure your doctor knows if you or anyone in your family has ever had a heart rhythm problem such as QT prolongation.
Cancer medicines can cause constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
Crizotinib may cause dizziness, tiredness, blurred vision, or other vision problems (eg, flashes of lights, floaters, sensitivity of the eyes to light). If any of these occur, do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how crizotinib affects you. Check with your doctor if visual changes occur. Your doctor may want your eyes be checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Talk with your doctor before using crizotinib if you plan to have children. Some men and women who use crizotinib have become infertile (unable to have children).
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.
Crizotinib side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Black, tarry stools
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- blurred or loss of vision
- body aches or pain
- chest pain or discomfort
- difficult or labored breathing
- difficulty in swallowing
- disturbed color perception
- double vision
- ear congestion
- halos around lights
- increased sensitivity to pain or touch
- irregular heartbeat
- lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- loss of voice
- lower back or side pain
- nasal congestion
- nerve pain
- night blindness
- overbright appearance of lights
- pain or burning in the throat
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- rapid weight gain
- recurrent fainting
- runny or stuffy nose
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or tongue or inside the mouth
- tightness in the chest
- tunnel vision
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight gain or loss
- weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- blue lips, fingernails, or skin
- clay-colored stools
- dark urine
- dry mouth
- fast heartbeat
- flushed, dry skin
- fruit-like breath odor
- increased hunger
- increased thirst
- increased urination
- irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
- itching, skin rash
- loss of appetite
- loss of consciousness
- stomach pain or tenderness
- swelling of the feet or lower legs
- yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Back pain
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- change in taste
- increased weight
- loss of taste
- muscle spasm or weakness
- pain in the arms or legs
- stomach discomfort or upset
- trouble in walking
- unsteadiness or awkwardness
- weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about crizotinib
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 6 Reviews
- Drug class: multikinase inhibitors
- Other brands
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